And we're live! The Oamaru harbour area is the first of a small number of free public Wi-Fi hot spots to be established across the Waitaki district. The project was passed by council in September this year, with councillors acknowledging that better connectivity would be a boon for residents and visitors alike.
Access to the internet is free and provides coverage for the open areas around the harbour such as the Oamaru Farmers Market area, the Friendly Bay playground, Steampunk playground, the Oamaru bike park and Harbour St.
Connecting to the public Wi-Fi is easy, simply connect your device to the "Waitaki WiFi" hot spot, and you're away.
Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said, "The Wi-Fi provides a useful digital amenity for the local community and will also provide key information to visitors so they can enjoy our district. A friendly 'landing page' will provide useful information relating to the district and can be tailored to each community area so that relevant activities and events are easily found. Visitors can help promote the district as they post photos and stories of their travels through Waitaki."
"As for locals, the digital divide is an issue for some, when they cannot afford internet at home. This is particularly an issue for some students, unemployed people looking for work and others who simply cannot afford it."
Omarama and Palmerston will have their public Wi-Fi hot spots activated shortly, with the plan being to deploy the free Wi-Fi at key locations within our district. Council has several other locations currently under consideration.